Vows: “I do!” vs. “I choose you to be my partner in life…”

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Vows that Matter Photo by Dustin Finkelstein

There are two primary ways couples choose to say their vows.  #1) The officiant asks the couple a series of questions to which the couple replies, “I do!” or “We do!”  #2) The couple reads their vows to each other.  There are other ways, but today I’ll focus on these two.

Which is right for you?  It depends.  If you love the idea of standing in front of your partner, looking into their eyes, and making them your promises, then you should read your vows!!  If you love the idea of saying “I do!” or if the idea of standing in front of people and speaking makes you too nervous to enjoy your ceremony, you should consider going with questions.  Does it matter?  Not really—the only thing that matters is that you and your partner take the time to choose the vows you want.  Whether you write your own or use the extensive resources I offer, it’s the deliberate selection of the promises that is most important.  Your vows are the foundation of your relationship—your relationship “charter” or “constitution” if you will.  They are important. Selecting the ones that mean something to you as a couple is critical.  The format —questions or statements—that’s more a matter of what makes you most comfortable.

Here’s an example of the same vows in two different formats:

Vow Statement:

I take you to be my partner in life, my friend and companion through the unknown of the future. I will support you, love you, and be faithful to you for the rest of our lives. I promise to share my time and attention and to bring joy strength and imagination to our relationship. I promise to share my time and attention with you and to bring joy, strength, and imagination to our relationship. I promise to strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, filled with laughter, patience, communication, understanding, and love. I promise to work together to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that we will create a life together far better than either of us could imagine alone. I promise to comfort and strengthen you through life’s joys and sorrows, regardless of the obstacles we may face together for as long as we both shall live.

Vow Questions:

Bride/Groom, do you take this man/woman to be your partner in life, your friend and companion through the unknown of the future, support him/her, love him/her, and be faithful to him for the rest of your lives? I do!

And I ask of you both, do you promise to share your time and attention and to bring joy, strength and imagination to your relationship? We do!

Do you promise to strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, filled with laughter, patience, communication, understanding, and love? We do!

Do you promise to work together to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that you will create a life together far better than either of you could imagine alone? We do!

Do you promise to comfort and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows, regardless of the obstacles you may face together for as long as you both shall live? We do!

I can always help you personalize & re-format any vows so that they are just what you are looking for!  Contact me & set up a free consultation!

Vows Based on Relationship Science

laughing vows jpgWriting vows can be a real challenge—after all, these are the promises that you are making to the one person whom you never want to hurt.  These are promises you want to keep forever.  No pressure!  I always encourage couples to consider and discuss the vows they want to make, regardless of whether they write their own or borrow from already beautifully written vows.  The important part is that you make promises you can keep and promises that will strengthen your relationship.

Here are 10 vows written by Samantha Joel, each one based on a aspect of relationship science.  If you want to read about the science, you can read the complete article here.

I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become.
I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone.
I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams.
I promise to always strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.
I promise to be there for you when you need me, whenever you need me.
I promise to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.
I promise to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion.
I promise to persevere when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we might face, we will conquer them together.
I promise to treat you with compassion over fairness, because we are a team, now and for always.
I promise to show you, every day, that I know exactly how lucky I am to have you in my life.